sweartotellthetruth

July 30, 2019

Blues and Rhythm Show 252 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, July 23rd (10:00 to 12:00 noon)

A lot of the work that goes into this show is work we do preparing at home and we rely on our technological devices to put a show together. We’d planned to take a week off in any case but technical obstacles prevented us from assembling a show two weeks in a row.

Our July 23rd program included rhythm & blues recorded between 1941 and 1959. Also, pair of obscure blues pianists from the 1930s and tracks from a couple of significant Delta bluesmen who recorded just before the war. We also featured some recordings from leading gospel groups in the 1950s after reviewing the Malaco 50th anniversary Gospel set in the previous show.

image.png   image.png  image.pngPn On the Show:

Cab Calloway & His Orchestra – Saunders King – King Perry – Big Maybelle – James Brown & the Famous Flames – Jesse James – Tony Hollins – Morgan Davis  – Rod Piazza – Roberta Martin Singers – Caravans – Roy Head & the Traits – Ray Agee – and others

Listen to the program each week at FM 93.3 in Hamilton, live on Cogeco Cable 288 or on CFMU online at the CFMU website. The program will be available to stream or download until September 17. CFMU podcasts now available for 8 weeks. Couldn’t be easier. Just go the website, bring up the playlist and stream or download the show.

Contact Us:

To reach us with comments or queries, write us at sweartotellthetruth@gmail.com.

You can also follow the program at sweartotellthetruth@nosignifying on Twitter.

Next week

Check back with this site.

cmc

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July 2, 2019

Blues and Rhythm Show 251 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, July 2nd (10:00 to 12:00 noon)

We’ll be looking briefly at the new book/album set from Malaco, The Gospel According to Malaco. The occasion of this publication event is Malaco’s 50th anniversary in business. Complicating the project is the fact that Malaco today owns the gospel catalogues of the Savoy and Apollo labels, which adds a further 25 years to the gospel history contained in Malaco’s holdings.

Also on the program, pre-World War 2 blues and roots music on CD with examples from the American Epic collection as well as John Tefteler’s Classic Blues compilations. There will be a few early R&B releases from the Aristocrat-Chess-Checker labels, a bit of Soul and Morgan Davis.

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On the Show:

Forest Sykes – Danny Overbea – Henry Thomas – Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe – Blind Lemon Jefferson – Walker’s Corbin Ramblers – Mississippi Mud Mashers – Davis Sisters  – Keb’Mo – Five Blind Boys of Alabama – Albertina Walker – Dee and Don – Morgan Davis – and others

Listen to the program each week at FM 93.3 in Hamilton, live on Cogeco Cable 288 or on CFMU online at the CFMU website. The program will be available to stream or download until August 13th. CFMU podcasts now available for 8 weeks. Couldn’t be easier. Just go the website, bring up the playlist and stream or download the show.

Contact Us:

To reach us with comments or queries, write us at sweartotellthetruth@gmail.com.

You can also follow the program at sweartotellthetruth@nosignifying on Twitter.

Next week

Check back with this site.

cmc

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October 21, 2014

Blues and Rhythm Show 152 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, October 21st, (1:00-2:30 pm)

This week, we look at some more performers scheduled for the first Hammer Bluesfest (Columbus Club of Hamilton, 222 Queenston Road, November 1st). Also on the program vaudeville blues, comedy and blues, white country music and blues. This is no deep examination but we play examples of vaudeville-influenced blues records and a few examples of musical crossover between black and white music in the twenties and thirties.

On the Show:

Morgan Davis – Smoke Wagon Blues Band – King Biscuit Boy – Blind Uncle Gaspard – Bert Williams – Coot Grant & Socks Wilson – Clara Smith & Lonnie Johnson – Hokum Boys – Emmett Miller & His Georgia Crackers – and others

Listen to the program at FM 93.3 in Hamilton or on CFMU online at cfmu.mcmaster.ca. The program will be available to stream or as a podcast until November 19th.

Contact Us

To reach us with comments or queries, write us at sweartotellthetruth@gmail.com.

You can also follow the program at sweartotellthetruth@nosignifying on Twitter.

Next week (October 28th)

We’re still winging it, planning the show the weekend before.

cmc

February 4, 2014

Blues and Rhythm Show 117 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, February 4, 2014 (1:00-2:30 pm)

Looking at some southern blues on this week’s program and mostly from the past half century, i.e. from the album era. When we used to listen to blues and jazz shows on the radio years ago, we were always afraid to miss a  show or part of a show and miss something we hadn’t heard before. That experience informs the way we put together The Blues and Rhythm Show. We try to present the widest selection of music that we can while maintaining a high standard in what we play on the air. This week, fully half of the show is by artists we haven’t previously played on the program.

Included in this week’s show is an edition of King Biscuit Time from radio station KFFA in Helena, Arkansas. Of course, this means Sonny Boy Williamson & His King Biscuit Entertainers, sponsored by King Biscuit Flour, makers of Sonny Boy Cornmeal. These sponsored, usually 15 minute programs, were a feature of radio in the southern states from the early 1930s. It was quite a while before recorded music pushed most live music programming from the airwaves. Examples of radio shows devoted to jazz, country, pop and some African-American gospel and vocal group music have been preserved but not much in the way of blues.

On the Show:

Memphis Gold – Jessie Mae Hemphill – Cliff Butler – Willie Willis & the Wildcatters – King Biscuit Time – Morgan Davis – Houston Stackhouse – Lynn Harmonizers – Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges

Listen to the program at FM 93.3 in Hamilton or on CFMU online at cfmu.mcmaster.ca. The program will be available to stream or as a podcast until March 1st.

Contact Us

To reach us with comments or queries, write us at sweartotellthetruth@gmail.com.

You can also follow the program at sweartotellthetruth@nosignifying on Twitter.

Next week (February 11th)

We’re still working on a couple of projects, including our program on railroad blues and gospel but it may take some additional time. Not sure today what we’ll be doing next week.

cmc

October 27, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Show 103 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 (1:00-2:30 pm)

We have not programmed a lot of white country blues week to week. Recently, we took a look at our composite playlist and recognized how little of this music we’d managed to fit into the show. We suggested last week we might do a feature on Western Swing but the feature we have put together would be better characterized as Old Timey, covering the period 1924-1935. White Country Blues serve some of the same functions as blues in the African-American tradition. They serve at times  as ironic commentary, humour, and even social protest. Some singers, like Jimmy Davis, Gene Autry and Cliff Carlisle, specialized, at least part of the time, in “blue” blues. White Country Blues also at times betrayed a fascination with African American music, speech and behaviour. Some white blues amounted to parody of black style, like the minstrel tradition, and, as with the minstrel tradition, some parody appeared to be sympathetic, even, at times, admiring, and some contemptuous and hateful. 

In the set we’ve prepared we haven’t sought out the songs that were topical or salacious. It’s a selection of blues that we hope will illustrate simply that blues was a significant part of Old Time or Hillbilly music, beside the ballads and breakdowns. 

On the Show

Lonnie Johnson – Bukka White – Big Chief Ellis  – Morgan Davis – Uncle Dave Macon – Frank Hutchinson – Dock Boggs – Charlie Poole & the North Carolina Ramblers – Riley Puckett – Holmes Brothers – and many others

Listen to the program at FM 93.3 in Hamilton or on CFMU online at cfmu.mcmaster.ca. The program will be available to stream or as a podcast until November 26th.

Contact Us

To reach us with comments or queries, write us at sweartotellthetruth@gmail.com.

You can also follow the program at sweartotellthetruth@nosignifying on Twitter.

Next week (November 5th)

Undetermined as of today. We’ll update.

Errors and Omissions

Last week (BRS 102), we played Curtis Jones, but we failed to mention that, like Memphis Slim and Eddie Boyd, Curtis Jones moved to Europe in the 1960s and made records there. He also made a well-received album for Delmark, in Chicago.

We experienced several skips on the CD track we played by Curtis Jones, “Bad Avenue Blues”. The CD players at the station are quite sensitive. We examined the surface of the disc to see a flaw or anything on the surface to cause the problem but couldn’t find the source of the malfunction.

cmc

 
 

October 7, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Show 100 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 (1:00-2:30 pm)

This week will be our 100th original show. (We were absent a couple of times and the station played repeats.) Instead of any single theme, we’re going to survey the areas we cover on the program and, as always, we try to bring you music you aren’t likely to hear on any other program.

The emphasis on Swear to Tell the Truth falls upon the history of the music. There are other programs, including programs on CFMU, that place greater emphasis on contemporary blues and related music. We try to bring you an entire tradition, including the stuff on the margins. We like to play the classic recordings but we also like to bring you the less obvious tracks and things other programmers aren’t likely to bring to air.

The internet is changing the way music is distributed and disseminated but it remains the case that only some of the recorded history of the music is available to the public at any one time. Ace Records of Britain and Bear Family of Germany continue to reissue a great deal of music in definitive editions, and all of it properly licensed, but as large as their catalogues have become, there’s a limit to what they can make available and keep in print. Researchers and collectors continue to uncover music of the past and make it available but mainly to a specialist audience through “grey-market” labels. New material keeps on appearing but it is harder to find on albums with liner notes and session details, even as a lot of older albums have found a home on iTunes and other downloading sites. We have long passed the high point of major label reissue projects and a lot of what was available a decade ago is gone or consigned to digital downloads.

The internet has also made music available on YouTube and you can find both classic tracks and completely out-of the-way music on YouTube but it’s quite unpredictable and a very long way from being a comprehensive source.

We remember listening to Dave Booth (“Daddy Cool”) on CFNY and John Norris’ That Midnight Jazz on CBC, and other shows,  not just to hear music we knew about but to hear the music we didn’t know about and we think there should be places on radio today that serve that part of the audience that wants to dig a little deeper and find the hidden capillaries of blues, gospel and soul–as there should be for other forms of music. There are many more radio stations today than in the past and hundreds of blues shows but we think there is certainly room for more shows that delve into the history of blues, gospel, R&B and soul.

There’s a great irony in the fact that we know more today generally about blues than we do about the mainstream popular music of the day. How many people know about popular music giants of the nineteen tens to the thirties like Sophie Tucker, the early Bing Crosby, or Russ Columbo today, compared to those who know a bit about about Robert Johnson and Memphis Minnie? On the other hand, we think we the story of blues and gospel have been too much distorted by the perspective of today, with too little regard for the complexities and ambiguities of history.

To the extent that we are able to provide a narrative around the music we play, we want to make sure that it is the right narrative and not the clichėd, incurious,  and misleading story we often encounter. And we want to try to address questions about why and how blues, mostly an African-American creation, widely despised and denounced in their time, are important to us today. What is our relationship to the older music and people who created it and what do they mean to us today?

We try to address these questions on Swear to Tell the Truth and, more immediately, we try to understand the people who made and consumed this music as more than names on record labels and “good-time” or “hard-luck” caricatures.

On today’s program, some R&B, some blues, some gospel and some soul…

On the Show:

Monte Easter – Velma Nelson –  Calvin Boze – Pearl Woods – Fenton Robinson – Morgan Davis – Reverend Louis Overstreet – Sweet Inspirations – Sam Cooke – Majestics

Listen to the program at FM 93.3 in Hamilton or on CFMU online at cfmu.mcmaster.ca. The program will be available to stream or as a podcast until November 5th.

Contact Us

To reach us with comments or queries, write us at sweartotellthetruth@gmail.com.

You can also follow the program at sweartotellthetruth@nosignifying on Twitter.

Next week (October 15th)

We’ll include a feature on great gospel soloists in the program.

Upcoming programs

We will definitely be presenting special features on the King and Modern record labels. We also have plans to look at the Library of Congress recordings of the thirties and forties in some detail. We’ll continue to look at different eras in blues as reflected in the recordings of the time and also some artist profiles, including Memphis Minnie and Big Bill. We’re looking at a couple of Gospel label profiles–Peacock and VeeJay, for now. We’d also like to do something with Duke and Peacock‘s Houston-based R&B and soul recordings. At some point, we plan to begin a series of year-by-year surveys of R&B hits and significant recordings. And we’ll make sure we fit in some programs featuring post-war electric blues.

Errata

We sometimes make mistakes on the air and we’ve decided to correct any mistakes we catch in this space.

Last week, we indicated both that Gene Phillips recorded for Modern in September, 1945, and that he first recorded for the label within a week of a September, 1946 session recorded by Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers, in September, 1946. Obviously, the two assertions contradict each other and one assertion was incorrect. The session took place in September, 1946, and, as we mentioned, appeared not to be issued immediately.

Twoo weeks ago, we mentioned Frederick Knight‘s recording of “I’ve Been Lonely For Too Long”, in reference to the song “Hard Times by Johnny B. Moore. Knight recorded the song for Stax, not for Chimneyville, as we suggested.

cmc

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